Small group expert, Joel Comiskey,creates a new tool for individuals and group study. In Discover, Use Your Gifts and Help Others Find Theirs, Joel shows clear steps and guidelines to find and activate spiritual gifts. The eight lessons offer biblical insight on what the gifts are and practical suggestions on how to use them. Discover will especially help those leading a small group to know how to discern the different gifts among group members–and then to help each person activate that gift. According to the Bible, everyone has at least one spiritual gift. But many don’t know what their gift is or how to effectively exercise their spiritual gift.
Why did you write this book?
So often we want to be like someone else. How often have we said, “I wish I was a great conversationalist like Tom. He always has something interesting to say, but when I’m in a group of people, my brain freezes up, and I can hardly remember what to say.” Or “I wish I could teach like Donna. She articulates her message so perfectly. In comparison, my teaching is simplistic and even superficial.”
Most of us have prayed, “Lord, make me like …. ” Because too many of us stumble through life with an inferiority complex, I wrote this book to help people discover who they are and how God wants them to function in the body of Christ.
Where is the best setting to use your spiritual gifts?
In the larger worship service, naturally experimenting with the gifts rarely happens because risk-taking is not encouraged in such an environment, nor should it be. Yet, in the safety of the small group and with the encouragement of the group leader, experimentation can happen, and the Holy Spirit will bless. When you’re sitting in a comfortable living room with just a few people, there’s far more possibilities to talk with and minister to others.
Once the group becomes comfortable with each other and more knowledgeable about spiritual gifts, the leader can encourage the participants to confirm in each other their spiritual gifts in the small-group time. Gift discovery takes place in the process of serving one another, caring for one another and living the life of the body. When you find that God consistently blesses your efforts in a certain area that builds others up, you can confidently conclude that you have that particular gift.
Are the spiritual gifts given permanently?
There are two views on this. One view, the constitutional view, says that God gives us the gifts permanently. The other side, the situational view, says that God equips a person with a particular gift when the need arises.
I personally believe that God has permanently given each born-again believer at least one or more gift. And in this sense we need to discover what he has placed in us. Yet, I also realize that God is the gift giver, and that he reserves the right to drop any gift into our lives at anytime. We need to expect God to work in our lives at all times.
Joel Comiskey (Ph.D. Fuller Seminary) is an internationally recognized church consultant and speaker. He has served as a missionary with the C&MA in Quito, Ecuador and is now founding pastor of a cell-based church in Southern California. Joel’s books have sold 130,000 copies in North American and an additional 200,000 copies worldwide. His titles include: Home Cell Group Explosion (Touch Publications, 1998), How to Lead a Great Cell Group Meeting (Touch Publications, 2001), and An Appointment with the King (Chosen Books,2002). Joel teaches as an adjunct professor at several theological seminaries. Joel and his wife, Celyce, have three daughters and live in Moreno Valley,California.
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